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Help with crate training older doggie!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Help me!

Barney's only been living with me since this past Friday and I need help.

He did just splendid over the weekend. NO peeing or pooping in the house.

A little backstory: Barney lived with my mom for 3 yrs. She didn't walk him near enough, and well he got used to peeing & pooping in her house. She didn't mind. Barney thinks it's ok, I guess, to hike it & pee.

WELL Barney did so well over the weekend (and Monday) that I thougth I was home-free. He sleeps on the sofa and I *thought* he was spending his time there. Anyway. He's getting used to me, the house, the cats now; so, yesterday, he wandered during the day & peed upstairs on the banister.

Anyways I cleaned it up using the miracle stuff I use for cat accidents.

Barney gets 2 walks in the morning --- and 3 or 4 walks at night. He gets a couple nice long walks, and well the short walks around our yard. He has certain "pee places" and well "poo places" too. I guess it's a dog thing, hopefully it makes sense?

And he seems to know --- "outside is where to go".

But I've seen some crate stories here and they seem to work.

Barney is about 6 yrs old, a part Cairn / part Yorkie / part ??? kinda doggie. Small. I want to start crating him during the day --- which is when, I believe as the cats run & play through the house, Barney is playing too -- and then, oops, he has to pee. So he just goes, cuz that's what he was used to at mom's.

Anyhoo I need to know --- since he is OLDER --- and not used to a crate --- will this be cruel to him? Will he think he's being punished???

He's so sweet & timid, just a shy lil guy & I was surprised at how well he is trained, in all honesty, cuz mom never worked with him. He knows not to bother the cats while they are eating (they would whomp him anyway), he doesn't bother the litter boxes, he listens to me & other things I'm not used to with my cats...

But I would like to know if I do crate him, is it cruel. Also what size crate? I have to keep him crated during our hotel stay over Spring Break, during the times when daughter & me go out & about without him; so I sorta need to do this anyways.

I just don't want to cause him mental damage or anything. And I am hoping, that he won't wanna pee or poo on himself in the crate, so, he will wait for mommy to get home & take him outside?!

Is this how it works???
post #2 of 8
The crate intoduction might be frightful for him. I would instead block off a room in your house kitchen, basement-any room with like a tile or linolium floor that will be easy to clean up. Buy some piddle-pads and try to encourage him to use those. Me, personally, I would train (re-train) him to go outside. You said he seems to get the idea-so whenever he does go outside give him a treat right afte he does it, and praise him a lot. If you catch him going in the house tell him no or bad and take him and his mess outside, place the mess in the grass so he knows "this" goes outside now. I think he will catch on pretty quickly. But if it does'nt work and you wind up crating him-do it easy. Buy the crate on like fri (if you don't have to work weekends) bring it home, set it up, and put his favorite bed, toys, ball etc... in there and leave the door to it open. That way he can go in there to sleep, play or whatever and get comfortable with the crate being there, and will be able to come and go as he pleases. That way come monday when you go to work and actually lock him in there, he won't be too scared. Good luck!!!
post #3 of 8
An idea for the indoor leg hiking - do an Internet search or check Ebay for "belly bands", or you can make one yourself using a cut-off sweatshirt sleeve and a feminine pad: it goes around his belly and covers the tip of his penis while he's indoors (and supervised, until you know he won't try to remove it), so if he hikes his leg it's absorbed by the pad. That alone may solve the problem, hopefully. I've heard a dog trainer mention doing that for an otherwise incorrigible leg-hiker - he got a really strange look on his face as he started peeing, and never did it indoors again. Of course the pad needs to be changed soon after being wet, to avoid infection. And when he goes outside, praise him so he knows that's what you want.

I think crate training is a good idea for any dog. Even for housetrained dogs who are allowed the run of the house at all times, it's still important for a dog to tolerate being crated - if he ever needs to be kept at the vet, or boarded, or to travel with you it will make things a lot easier if he's calm in the crate and not freaking out.

If you make the crate a "happy place" for him and introduce it slowly a little bit at a time, most dogs will take readily to a crate - most have an instinct to sleep in a den. We trained DH's dog to tolerate being crated at 9 years old - very slowly, a little at a time, with the door kept open and lots of treats and a nice chew to keep him occupied:Crate training for adult dogs

I like the collapsible wire crates best for dogs who aren't used to a crate, because they have an "open" feel to them and the dog can see out easily. If the dog prefers more of a "den", you can drape a blanket or towel over the crate. Plus they can be collapsed to slide away when not in use, unlike the big plastic crates. The downside is if it's a large crate it can be heavy - the big plastic ones are relatively light. The corner pin ones are cheaper than the fold & carry, but they're a bit of a pain to assemble. If he takes well to a crate (you're sure he's happy in there and won't try to chew or dig out) and you travel with him a lot, the fabric crates are wonderful. We use a fabric crate for Beth, who loves her crate - if I leave it out, she'll sleep in it by choice. I use a metal crate for Petey, and don't leave him crated for long because he still has some separation anxiety issues, though he's much better than he used to be.

If you plan to use the crate only at home, I'd choose a larger crate than if you're going to travel with it a lot. For home, it should be tall enough for him to stand upright and not have to duck his head too much, and long enough for him to sprawl if he likes to sprawl. Generally I'd say go by his height and length laying down, and not by the weight guidelines that may be listed for the crate.

And of course ALWAYS remove his collar while he's in the crate, for safety's sake.

post #4 of 8
Pearl is crate-trained, due to chewing and peeing issues, as well as "romping with Rowdy" issues. I put an old quilt in there and firmly pushed her in. After the first couple of nights, she began going into it on her own.

Its been a couple of years now and, as soon as I shut off the TV, Pearl goes into the crate on her own. She also recognizes the phrase "go to bed" and scoots on in. Some nights, I think she's really tired out, as she goes into the crate, while we're still up. I just shut the door, when I go to bed.
post #5 of 8
It might be less stressful, and possibly easier to litter box train him.
This is a small dog, right?
Petsmart and Petco both have dog litter box/training systems for small breeds.
With his weight problem, and his small size, he may be experiencing some bladder pressure, making it difficult for him to hold it as long as he could at a normal weight.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
He hasn't had any more accidents; just the one last Tuesday. That's all!

He gets loads of walks and knows his places to 'go' outside. So far so good.

I do need to get him used to a crate, however, for our trip, so I'm gonna get one & introduce him gradually so he's not shocked when we go for Spring Break. Hoping the little pudger loses some weight by then, too. I want to get a chest carrier for him but right now he's just too fat.
post #7 of 8
Your situation is quite similar to ours. We adopted our dog Ed (a toy poodle) about a month ago from a rescue. They said that he was housetrained, so assumed he was. I think he basically is, and also knows "outside" is where to go. The first couple of days we had him - no accidents, then he had a few after that - during the first week (when we were home). So I don't think he's 100% reliable.

Now when we are home, he is under 100% supervision (he has to hang with me every minute). When we leave, we take him as often as we can, he loves car rides, other than that - he's in the crate.

We didn't know if he was previously crate trained or not, but we bought one (the open wire kind) and now he is crated when we are at work (or somewhere he can't go). Luckily, I only work a few minutes away from home, so at lunch time, I can run home and let him out to go potty and then play with him a bit for some exercise before I go back to work. Right now, 4-5 hours is the max he's in the crate at a time.

At first, I had to put him in it, then a couple of days after that he would go on his own - now he just runs and gets in. I don't think he 'loves' it, but he certainly accepts the idea that the crate is his place when we leave. When I want him in it, I say "Kennel" in the same tone of voice as if I were saying "want a treat" LOL

If you know for sure that Barney isn't crate trained - definitely start out very slowly and work your way up. I did a couple of searches on the internet and got some good info on crate training.

Good luck! Feel free to PM me if you want.
post #8 of 8
Our very first dog was rescued from the streets and an adult who had obviously never been inside a house. We used the same technigues to house break her as we would for a puppy - never let them out of your site unattended and immediately redirect them outside the second they start to mess in the house. Our dog trainer told us that it is harder to train an adult dog with bad habits (or no habits) and honestly, it took us a year to break her of the habit. We actually used toddler training pants (with a hole cut out for her tail) for a while (at the recommendation of the trainer).

A lot of folks have luck with crates. We used the back porch (tile floor) as the kennel room for our last set of puppies. It has more space than a crate and we wanted them to have room to move while we were out. As others said, if you use a crate, make sure it is a happy place for them. Give them treats and toys inside. Most dogs do not like to lay where they mess and it can work for most.

Good luck!
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